Dom Sibley urges England batsmen to step up in the absence of Ben Stokes
England opener Dom Sibley has called on his fellow batsmen to step up in the absence of Ben Stokes.
Stokes will play no part in the final two Tests of the summer against Pakistan as he has travelled to New Zealand to be with his family and his middle-order runs will be a big miss.
The onus will fall on the likes of Sibley and Rory Burns at the top of the order and Joe Root, Ollie Pope and probably Zak Crawley to fill that hole, starting in the second Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Thursday.
“He is a massive part of our team and he is one of the best players in the world, but obviously family comes first and we will be supporting him with everything that is going on,” Sibley said.
“We will have to make do in his absence, people will have to step up. We wish Ben all the best.”
Stokes is the latest player to leave England’s bubble this summer, with Dan Lawrence, Root and Jos Buttler also departing for various personal reasons.
Sibley says the experience of being locked in a hotel is easier for him to cope with than others.
“For Ben and Dan it is different, it is for their family and family is the most important thing,” he said. “For the guys, it has not been normal so it has been different.
“It is great to have been back playing and being around the lads and having that dressing room environment banter going along.
“It is a lot easier for me because I don’t have a wife or kids. I know that it might be tougher for the other guys who might be away from their families for a longer period of time.
“It hasn’t been normal, it’s been great to be back but at the same time it’s been different.”
Sibley is establishing himself at the top of England’s order and has scored two centuries in his opening 10 Tests.
The 24-year-old is pleased with his first 10 months in Test match cricket, but reckons it could have been even better.
“If you said to me after 10 Test matches you’d be averaging 40 and have two hundreds I’d have been pleased,” he said.
“But at the same do I do feel I have got a lot more to give. I do feel like I have let opportunities slip to score maybe four or five hundreds.
“I know that might sound greedy, and unrealistic, but that is the way I am thinking.
“The secret is it does feel tough at times and there are periods where bowlers bowl at you and think, ‘I’m not sure how I am going to score big runs against this guy’, but it’s just a case of getting through that and people always say batting does get easier.
“I am starting to feel more comfortable when I go out to bat, there are some amazing bowlers but I always go out to back myself.”
Gloucestershire escape the bad weather as David Payne rolls over Middlesex
The seamer claimed six for 56 and 10 wickets in the match as the visitors secured a comfortable win.
On this day in 2004: Muttiah Muralitharan beats Shane Warne to Test record
Muralitharan surpassed Courtney Walsh’s mark of 519 Test wickets.
Craig Overton displays all-round talents to put Somerset on top
James Bracey also excelled as Gloucestershire pushed for victory over Middlesex.
Nottinghamshire in control against Essex as 15 wickets fall at Trent Bridge
James Anderson removed Marnus Labuschagne cheaply.
England could stage remaining IPL games in September as counties contact ECB
It is believed the matches could be wrapped up in little over a fortnight if a model of two games a day and three on weekends was adopted.
On This Day in 1988 – Worcestershire’s Graeme Hick scores 405 in single innings
Hick set a 20th-century County Championship record six years before Brian Lara broke it with his 501 not out for Warwickshire.
Jofra Archer shows flashes of top form on return from injury
Archer continued his return to action in a Second XI County Championship match at Hove.
Chris Jordan says suspending IPL ‘the right call’ as he awaits return to England
There has already been plenty of debate over whether the tournament should have continued as long as it did during a public health emergency.
On this day in 2011: Alastair Cook was named as England’s new ODI captain
Cook replaced Andrew Strauss, who retired from one-day cricket, while Broad took over from Paul Collingwood.
Former Australian Test cricketer victim of targeted kidnapping, police say
MacGill played 44 Tests for Australia and took 208 wickets.